Last week saw two important anniversaries for children’s rights: European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse on November 18, and United Nations Universal Children’s Day on November 20. These important days also serve as a reminder for us to protect and support the most vulnerable victims of crime. The EU Directive on victims’ rights provides additional measures for child victims of crimes. See the special provisions for children in our video presentation.
European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse: November 18
On 12 May 2015, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe set up European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. This day is celebrated on November 18 to raise awareness of sexual offence crimes against children. The idea is also to allow for an open discussion of a difficult topic thereby helping to eliminate the stigmatisation of victims.
This day also promotes the Lanzarote Convention, which obliges States to criminalise all forms of sexual offences against children through enacting specific legislation and measures to prevent sexual violence, to protect child victims and to prosecute perpetrators.
United Nations Universal Children’s Day: November 20
In 1954, the United Nations established Universal Children’s Day to be celebrated on 20 November each year with the goal of promoting international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.
Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and 30 years later, in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The convention is the most widely ratified international human rights treaty in the world and Universal Children’s Day is a reminder for us to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights.